Monday, February 25, 2008

Only in Los Angeles

Like a heroin addict looking forward to a flame and a spoon, I look forward to Rock of Love 2. I'm not proud about it, it's just something I do. I didn't think it could get scarier and scarier each week, hell, I didn't think the ladies could get scarier than last season. As I watched tonight, though, I saw something so hideous and out of control I couldn't stand it.

I'm talking about the restaurant where Bret took some ladies for a date; a trendy West Hollywood eatery called Opaque where they tout "dining in the dark." From their Web site, Opaque will heighten your senses as you dine in a completely pitch-black setting, while being served by "specially-trained, visually impaired individuals."  It was great for Bret Michaels, as we saw from some risque night-vision footage. For me, the mere concept combines too many fears.

It's like "Dinner on Elm Street."

Not only am I scared of the dark, but I'm scared of food. I also don't necessarily like a surprise on a plate, and even though people frequenting Opaque choose their menu while in the light, who knows what one would actually get to eat? I instantly had horrible visions of the dinner scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where they sit down to a feast of eyeball soup followed by a monkey brain entree with a side of dead bug puree. 

Maybe it's just me.

First off, I don't like my foods to touch each other on the plate. I have to properly separate it and make sure that my gravy-less mashed potato does not co-mingle with the dinner roll, which in turn does not converge with the plain turkey. I do not like sauces, I do not like things that are "squishy," and I've got the gag-reflexes to prove it. That alone would freak me out at Opaque.

Secondly, I am afraid of the dark. For the first few years of my life my parents would put me to bed at night, and just as they turned out the light, I would scream "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED!" I would continue to scream for several hours until the neighbors grew concerned I was being tortured. To me, the dark was torture. This behavior lasted until just before I got my "big girl bed," when an escape from Alcatraz-like climb ended up in a face-first biff out of my crib resulting in a fat, bloody lip. As my dad iced down my face, thinking of how to tell my mom when she came home from work, his guilt took over and he let me fall asleep with him on the couch each night before carrying me to bed. This behavior lasted clear through several seasons of Miami Vice until I was nearly in junior high. (For those doing the math, Miami Vice ran from 1984 to 1989.)

Stick the two together in a "sensory dining experience" and for me, you've got a meal anxiety case study for any seasoned psychoanalyst. And then what if there are ghosts? I'll bet they haven't even considered the ghosts.

I want to open a restaurant called Bright Light. At my restaurant, you open the fridge-like door and are bathed in florescent glory. After donning sunglasses and a nice slather of sunscreen, you choose from a highly specialized, yet limited, menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, Special K with Red Berries and Diet Dr. Pepper. For dessert, you have Tropical Chex Mix and blueberry vodka. You know what to expect, no surprises, no Freddy in the corner. At Bright Light, you know what you're getting into, and the only people freaked out are the Mogwai.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Damn right I'll trust the Gorton's fisherman...

I was watching tv the other day and for some reason was drawn to one of the new Gorton's fish stick commercials. I've never eaten fish sticks, my mom never fixed fish sticks and I've never gazed upon fish sticks in my grocer's freezer. Yet yesterday I sat in front of the television, unable to change the channel during a Gorton's commercial because it was a thing of beauty.

The new Gorton's fisherman is smoking hot.

For a long time, I seem to remember the old Gorton's fisherman was just a crunchy man of the sea. Maybe I'm getting old, maybe my taste in men is changing, but I never wanted to eat a frozen fish fillet off of someone's stomach so badly as I did when I saw the new Gorton's fisherman. I actually considered going grocery shopping for some fish sticks because I was so motivated by the new Gorton's fisherman. Then I realized I'm a lemming, a fish stick lemming, persuaded by advertising to buy frozen fish pimped out by a hot guy in a cableknit sweater.

Researching further, I realized I was right. Apparently since women do most of the country's grocery shopping, the Gorton's folks are banking on the persuasiveness of a hot man clad in yellow rubber. The new Gorton's fisherman is part of Gorton's ploy to thrust popularity back into frozen fish sticks. And God bless them for it, I believe the new Gorton's fisherman can thrust whatever he'd like to thrust.

(If you want to see this quick little documentary about choosing the new Gorton's fisherman, click I tried embedding the video, but it has an autoplay feature which would subject all three of my readers to instant bagpipe music.)

Update: 10:41 pm, just saw a different new Gorton's fisherman commercial while watching a depressingly abysmal show on the WE (Women's Entertainment) Channel. It's confirmed, I really need something, even if it's just a frozen sea-product. This time the commercial is for Shrimp Temptations. The new Gorton's fisherman can tempt my... oh, never mind.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Coincidence, or no?


I don't want to get all conspiracy theory tonight, but it's extremely coincidental that the man who was touted as the "Scourge of Scientology" was found dead of apparent suicide. Sure, he might've needed to get a life when he parked across the street from a Scientology-owned business and displayed anti-Scientology sentiments in his car windows. To that end, he probably spent a little too much time on Florida streets wearing a sandwich-board reading "Cult Watch." But I guess he pissed off one too many Scientologists when he started filming secret documentary footage and dumpster-diving for "classified" documents he later posted on his Web site.

Though his actions died down (pun?) when he decided to cease his work in bringing down Xenu and Pals and actually get a paying job, I guess it was to no avail. Mysteriously he was found in his apartment with a garden hose stretched from his car exhaust pipe to the window.

Nobody puts Tom Cruise in the corner. Read the entire article here

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mystery Meat

It has been reported that 143 million pounds of bad beef has been shipped not only throughout the country but has also hit all over Utah, including fast food restaurants and schools. Now this beef hasn't made people sick, but apparently the practices in getting the beef wasn't, pun intended, kosher. Without going into the alleged practices of the slaughterhouses in question, I believe it's all the more reason to shun the dollar menu burger or to question from where lunches come. Certainly those school kids don't realize what they're eating. 

I never ate school lunch.

My mom would make my lunch every day, and I was the envy of my elementary school peers. I never had to chow the questionable chicken fried steak, never needed the partially crusty mashed potatoes, never blew bubbles in my carton of school-issued, lukewarm 2% milk. My mom would make my peanut butter and wine jelly (yes, it's jelly made from wine which we referred to as "the recipe" when she'd make it every holiday season) sandwich, cut the crusts off my bread and throw in a little Diet Coke for a mid-day pick-me-up. Kids would offer to trade for a greasy school-lunch roll, but I would never budge.

Now that I think about it, maybe I should've been made to eat a nasty school lunch; I might not have the food issues I have as an adult. Still, my mom always knew what she put in that personalized Garfield lunchbag, and she did it in such a way that at least she knew I was eating something semi-healthy. At least it was better than subjecting me to "mystery meat."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just another day

There are quite a few people wandering around today in a post-Valentine's Day haze, wondering if they did enough or spent enough or cared enough about their loved ones. But what is enough?

Valentine's Day expectations are heightened because of movies. I know that's a bold statement, but movies perpetuate the already astronomical stress lumped on by stores carrying Valentine merchandise beginning December 26. Single people hope for some cinematic gesture of a stranger just waltzing through the door with flowers and dinner. People who are attached always get upset when any gift they get doesn't meet the image conjured up in one's mind. And then the day after, people feel hungover from the entire process.

I was reflecting on my Valentine's Day from last year. Last year I was dating someone, and last year's Valentine's Day wasn't anything to lean off the front of a boat and shout about. Last year, the guy I was dating came down with the flu and was sick for the week. On the morning of Valentine's Day I left him a 12-pack of Miller High Life for a gift because I had no idea what to get him. That night, he punched me in his sleep because he thought I was either 1) a stranger 2) an intruder or 3) the Vietcong. I was too tired to drive home so I slept in the guest room. On Valentine's Day. Alone.

Guess what? It doesn't matter if you're Valentine's attached or not. It's a day, just like any other day and will be over just like any other day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best advice all day

Not to toot my own horn, but here's some pretty decent advice I gave out today:
"Always remember: the wang of an emotionally detached man is like a vampire; if you invite it into your home it will first consume, then destroy you."

Next thing, they'll ban dancing!

Ever see Footloose? If you grew up in the 80s and had a thing for Kevin Bacon, chances are you've watched the film and even lusted over his Lehi Roller Mills ass-shaking. Sure ladies, you might have been distracted by the cute up-and-coming Bacon, or if you're a guy, you might've been into a sweet, little Sarah Jessica Parker. But let's not forget the main idea of the film: small-town close-mindedness that manifests itself in a group of people, who then end up trying to ban dancing.

This kinda reminds me of the recent witch-hunt Layton City police had when they took over a local mall's Spencer's store. According to news reports, police raided the store and left with everything they felt was sexually explicit and in minors' sight. The thing is, the police there haven't filed charges yet until they review the boxes, upon boxes, of racy items. Were they wrong to storm in and seize the stuff? And just what stuff did they actually seize? Only time will tell, but I feel this raid is the stuff of which a Mary Shelley novel is made. (Get it? People hunting Frankenstein with pitchforks and torches? Too highbrow?)

In the meantime, here are my favorite items from Spencer's online (not from the adult portion, but from the part that would equal the things out in plain sight on a store shelf) that might've pissed off militant mommies who might persuade the police in Layton City:

1. Pole-Dancing Kit. Touted as the "world's first portable pole-dancing kit," this item comes complete with garter, fake money and instructional DVD. I think the only fault of this might be the injuries that ensue when attempting to swing around a "spring loaded" pole not bolted to neither the ceiling, nor the floor.
2. 1-liter Beer Boot. When "12 oz is too little and a pint too puny" the beer boot is your friend. Also apparently for the Cinderella of the new millennium when searching for a prince, any prince, who may appear more handsome after drinking from this glass slipper.
3. Suck and Blow Jell-O Shooter. Something I think would be a best-seller in Utah since Jell-O is such a staple. Now instead of taking the tacky route by digging a Jell-O shot out of those teeny cups with your tongue, you can have someone blow the Jell-O into your mouth! While you suck! It's so simple!
4. Ho Stein. Think how popular you will be while sipping your "crunk juice" from your pimp cup. Grill not included.
5. Mohawk Drink Hat. When your run-of-the-mill beer hat isn't enough, here's a super-classy hairdo to go along with the 40s of Natty Light you can now carry on the sides of your head! That way when you go home to your family reunion in Delta or Beaver or from whereever you've matriculated, you don't even have to brush your hair! And it's pink!

Either the Layton Police are really off-base or they were fixin' to get enough stuff for one helluva party.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I didn't watch the Super Bowl last weekend, but I am a sucker for a good commercial. Especially one that uses authentic Michael Jackson choreography. Now if only Naomi were to hit all these little guys with her cell phone...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shhh... don't tell

Clinton and Stacy from TLC's What Not to Wear would be so very disappointed in me today. I have the waistband of my pants pinned to make them fit. It was either that, or sag, which I don't believe is even in style with homies anymore. All the kids nowadays are wearing girl pants, and my girl pants don't even fit me today.

Then I had to wear a longer sweater to cover up the fact that my pants are pinned to fit, which made the butt part look strange.

Clinton and Stacy, I'm sorry. I don't mean to thumb my nose at you. I just wanted to try to make my pants fit today. On the other hand, if anybody wants to nominate me for the show so I can get the five-thousand bucks, I'd be okay with that. Generally I don't feel my fashion sense is that lacking, but I would take it all in stride to get some new duds.

Also, as a totally unrelated sidebar to this post, last night's Project Runway was by far my favorite this season. I love it when we actually see the designers' personalities and now in my fantasy world, I want to run off and join the Ice Capades with Chris March.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Make me a match...

I made the mistake of watching Millionaire Matchmaker tonight. This is a Bravo TV reality show about this woman owns a business that finds rich, socially inept men and pairs them up with women who double as flotation devices. Matchmaker Patty Stanger acts as the expert in hookups, telling the men just how they should dress, act and decorate their homes, sometimes in not so delicate ways.

She's also not so delicate to the women whom she interviews and hand-picks to meet said various millionaire men. And, after watching tonight's episode of Millionaire Matchmaker, I'm ashamed to admit I felt even worse about myself than I already do this week. Patty's "tough love" sucks, and maybe I'm just a little bitter tonight, but maybe if she was a little less difficult to gaze upon, she'd have some ground on which to stand.

At one point Patty told the women, "Come on ladies, if you have short hair, grow it. Get extensions." She continued, "Guys want something they can run their hands through." I disagree with Patty Stanger; simply, that's bullshit. Has little Yenta Patty ever actually had hair extensions? Let me tell you, folks, I just got rid of my extensions. If I didn't feel my scalp for four months, and missed that a whole lot, I am here to tell you that nobody, no man, is going to be able to run his hands through that action.

And should a night of, shall we say, "excitement" happen, those lovely hair extensions will most certainly turn into a impenetrable rat's nest hair wad of epic proportions. 

Dating is hard. Damn hard. I should know as I've been doing it for quite some time. But is this what courtship has become? Exactly who are these women trying to impress-- the men they wish to date, or the women who judge them? That said, if she wanted to set me up with a few of these guys, I probably wouldn't complain.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fakon part deux: This time, fakon means business

If you haven't read tonight's earlier post on fake bacon or what I've dubbed "fakon," please scroll down, read about it, then continue on with this post.

After eating the fakon, I let it sit in my stomach for about an hour like a wad of fresh cement and then decided to work it through my system at the gym. And work it, I did.

I went to the weight room for my usual 20 minutes, as legs and abs were on my radar for the evening, then jumped on the treadmill for a good cardio warmup. I was on the treadmill for about 20 minutes and was doing so well I jumped onto the elliptical for another 30 minutes before I passed out. 15 minutes and nearly two miles onto the elliptical portion of the workout, and some asshat walking past the gym windows thought he'd be a comedian.

As we (myself and the other folks on the row of trainers, not "we" as in, "the fakon and I") were there sweating our guts out inside the gym, this guy thought it would be funny to make fun of everyone. He took a drag off his cigarette and jogged around for a bit, then leaned over with his hands on his knees like he'd just finished a marathon, then he took another drag and blew the smoke at us in the window before he jogged around again and repeated his schtick. I finally turned to the girl next to me and asked, "Is that a friend of yours?"

"Uhh, no," she said with mutual irritation.

So what do I do when I'm kicking ass at a great cardio workout while getting mocked? Yeah, I flipped him off and mouthed the appropriate matching words. He blew another smoke ring at us and went on his way while the girl next to me chuckled at the whole raunchy scene.

Then it happened. It was like karma was a little pissed off at me for gesturing to the stranger while suggesting just what he could do with the remainder of his evening. As I neared the hour mark on the cardio portion of the night, I felt a little off, like the fakon was rebelling. The universe and the fakon had created nuclear fission in my belly and the reaction was staggering. 

"Woooooah, that fake bacon isn't sitting so well," I thought. "Oh. My. Sweet. Baby. Jesus. The faaaaakoo..." I couldn't even finish the thought before I flew off the ellliptical trainer, and with my hand over my mouth barely made it across the gym before the wrath of the fakon revisited for round two. This was decidedly worse than the time I drank a 32-ounce chai latte before going to the gym.

Now here I sit, researching Morningstar Farms fakon, trying to figure out why I could've had this kind of violent reaction to such a seemingly healthy product. Then it hit me, their Web site is and I realized they were right. Tonight, I certainly saw veggies differently.

Just say "no"

In the 80s, we all learned it from Nancy Regan in regard to drugs, "Just say 'no'."

I'm here to bring that same "Just say 'no'" sentiment to foods that should never exist. Ever. I'm talking Morningstar Farms veggie bacon strips. When I saw it in the freezer case tonight, I thought, "It's fake! It's bacon! It's fakon!" What could be so wrong with a product made of VEGGIES that resembles something that is so bad for your health? I've already resorted to a diet of fat-free, fake cheese and now I could make a fake McMuffin with fake eggs and now FAKON!

Excitedly, I rushed home from the store ready to microwave a little fakon snack before hitting the gym. I opened the box, and was a little taken aback by the color and texture of the fakon. It looked like a mauve and cream marbled fruit-leather snack that might've been made by my grandmother out in her backyard. Despite the very un-baconlike appearance, I microwaved two of the floppy strips for exactly one minute and 30 seconds, hoping to give it that extra-crispness I so love in the real thing.

One minute and 40 seconds later I was prying the smoking fakon off the plate. The texture was like a thin piece of shingle one would affix to the top of a dollhouse. Sadly, this didn't stop me. I ate the first piece, and hoped it would sort of taste like bacon, but it didn't taste like really anything. I had to eat the second piece just to make sure, and while this piece had a slight hickory after-taste, I think it might've all been my imagination. I was disappointed in fakon, the fakon let me down.

Googling the fakon, I was promised a "delicious hearty flavor of smoked bacon with a crispy bite." But in reality I ate "very little flavor of smoked anything except for an out-of-the-microwaved-plate with a wafer-thin chunk of sadness."

Exactly five minutes and 30 seconds later, I was doubled-over in shooting pain from eating the fakon on an empty stomach. Strange, that food would be bad when taken without food, and still the fakon I had dreamt would be so tasty had been almost as nasty as the time I got food poisoning and ended up in the hospital for two days from a Smart Ones chicken alfredo pizza.
The saddest thing is that the fakon is not cheap, and so I will put it back in the freezer to try another time. Maybe after I've already eaten, the fakon could be a healthier dessert alternative.

Until then, I half expect some sort of gas pain, bloating and, perhaps, oily discharge could ensue. At least after this experience, those symptoms would be something to which I could look forward.

There was an article this last month in Wired about people who get paid to blog in a positive way about products. Since this blog is for free, baby, I'm here to give an honest look at the horribly disgusting:
Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper. Disgusting. Check.
Morningstar Farms "bacon." Disgusting. Check.
Lean Cuisine Asian-style Chicken Potstickers. Still tasty, however still only available at Wal-Mart. Now that's disgusting.

Nostalgia, part trois

Aaah, the Garbage Pail Kid, a 1980s staple that made me the envy of so many elementary school peers; and because I had the "cool mom," I had every single card in the whole collection.

To this day, I have preserved my old Garbage Pail Kids to the best of my ability-- I leave them in a shoebox hidden from daylight in our family storage unit located in some undisclosed place. I own two of the best cards available from the first series: Adam Bomb and Blasted Billy, both of which I acquired when I traded with a girl in my fifth grade class because she was too stupid to know they were in such high demand.

Fast forward to lunch today when Urban Princess noticed a new series of Garbage Pail Kids at the store. We each bought a pack, and as I delicately opened mine, I had a twinge of disappointment. Things just aren't what they used to be. I don't know when Topps took out that horrible-tasting, waxy gum that lost its flavor three minutes after touching saliva, but it just wasn't the same not having it there. It wasn't the same not brushing the gum powder off the card faces, they seemed too new, too shiny. Too glossy for politically incorrect cards that sport names like Dung Beetle Baily and Manuel Labor.

Though I did get a specially inserted and random Loco Motion card (a Garbage Pail that is one of those ribbed, illusioney things that look like they're moving when you hold them differently in the light), I still felt something was missing. My youth? The envy of kids in the class when I was allowed to own these cards and they were parentally banned? The fact I finally blew my own money on them?

I feel like I felt the day I realized that the special effects The Neverending Story actually really sucked.